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The Wee Mad Road: A Midlife Escape to the Scottish Highlands Paperback – May 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Tasora Books; 1st edition (May 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934690023
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934690024
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #353,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The Wee Mad Road is a funny, touching, insightful look at the ebb and flow of an isolated Highland fishing and crofting community, a place molded by forces of nature and tempered by its people. It is a road well worth traveling, if only from the comfort of your favorite armchair. --Neill Kennedy Ray, Scottish Life magazine, Summer 2008

If you're looking for a respite from politics and war, you can lose yourself in The Wee Mad Road...so idyllic it'll make you Highland green with envy. --Mary Ann Grossman, Saint Paul Sunday Pioneer Press, May 4, 2008

''The Wee Mad Road is kind of like Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence, with rotten weather and lots of whisky.'' - Bob Gilbert, Villager, May 7, 2008

''...a gloriously whimsical account of the Highland lifestyle, beautifully captured in words and illustrations -- the characters, the pub life, the ceilidhs. This is great fun.'' - Hamish Coghill, Scottish Life magazine, Autumn 2008

''...a two-year adventure of shearing sheep, learning folk songs and befriending locals. The whole romantic endeavor is captured in The Wee Mad Road.'' --Kerri Westenberg, Minneapolis Sunday Star Tribune, June 22, 2008

About the Author

Jack Maloney grew up on Chicago's South Side. A Missouri J-school graduate, his career as a freelance writer has taken him to orphanages in Haiti, West African refugee camps, Middle East mosques, Asian marketplaces and islands in the South Pacific, and his work has won national and international awards. He is a dual citizen of the US and Ireland.

Barbara Maloney is a native of Minneapolis. A mother of two, she graduated from the University of Minnesota and worked in a gallery specializing in Inuit and Northwest Coast tribal art. Her illustrations for The Wee Mad Road capture rare scenes of traditional Highland life. The Maloneys live near the Upper Mississippi River in Saint Paul, Minnesota.


More About the Author

JACK MALONEY grew up in the tenements of Chicago's South Side, and earned a journalism degree from the University of Missouri. His career as a freelance writer has taken him to orphanages in Haiti, West African refugee camps, Middle East mosques, Asian marketplaces and islands in the South Pacific, and his work has won national and international awards. A mountaineer, scuba diver, parachutist and XC ski instructor, Jack has canoed, skied, backpacked and climbed in wilderness areas across North America. He is a dual citizen of the US and Ireland.

BARBARA MALONEY is a native of Minneapolis. She was already a mother of two when she earned a degree in microbiology from the University of Minnesota, and later worked in a gallery specializing in Inuit and Northwest Coast tribal art. After living in Scotland three years, she came back to America, returned to school at the age of 46 and began a second career as an accountant and tax auditor for the State of Minnesota. Barbara's illustrations for THE WEE MAD ROAD capture scenes of traditional Highland working life that are seldom seen today.

JACK AND BARBARA MALONEY raised two daughters together, make music on piano and English concertina together, and travel the world together. Today, they live near the banks of the Upper Mississippi River in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

THE WEE MAD ROAD is the ONLY book written by this author.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 29 customer reviews
This book almost makes me want to go to Scotland and live the experience myself.
S. Goldstein
What the authors have done is remarkable in that they were really part of the community and lived the life.
musician-violinist
I have found with the books that I really love that I stop reading them with 30 or so pages left.
A. Gastler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Diane M. Andersen on April 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
Wow! I've just taken a rollicking, adventurous ride along the Wee Mad Road, and I didn't even have to go to Scotland. There were surprises around every bend and, best of all I became acquainted with some of the highland people - strong and lively with wonderful stories to tell. Even the animals - sheep, dogs, chickens - had their own quirky personalities. This book is full of laughter and a lot of heart without being overly sentimental - not to mention exciting action on land and sea. It has music and dancing and parties with hilarious happenings. It's a can't-put-down read - intelligently and beautifully written with wonderful illustrations that evoke the feeling of the land and it's people. I didn't want it to end!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By E. Bienhoff on June 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
I read about this book in the St. Paul(MN)Pioneer Press

We have a Scottish daughter-in-law. We went to visit her parents on the Isle of Skye after she married our son. I fell in love with Scotland, especially the Highlands.

I ordered this book for my daughter-in-law for her birthday and she was delighted with it. She knew the location of Coicagh, had been there and knew how to pronounce it. I picked the book up at our library and am enjoying it immensely. Anyone born in Scotland or it was their birthplace, can't help but identify with these Highland Scots: Warm, generous, patient with Americans, especially. To me Scotland could be heaven and I would be satisfied.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Happy Reader on April 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
In this day of farm-bred catfish, imitation crabmeat, hot-house tomatoes, stall-raised veal and fabrics made of recycled plastic, it's refreshing to visit a culture sustained by traditional sheep herding and harvesting prawns, crabs and lobster from the open sea.
This perspective is just one of the appeals of this bright and candid account of an extended stay in a special un-defiled place. One of the reasons for the book's emphasis on fishing and wool production is that Jack and Barb Maloney became immersed in the industry of the Scottish highlands during their two-year residence. From the moment they decided on the move to a remote coastal village they were tourists no more and gracefully joined a community that accepted them with equal grace. Jack learned to tend the creels and lines and shear and dip the sheep. Excerpts from Barb's journal, and her tender illustrations, show a mutual affection between her and their community. What Peter Mayle did for Provence, the Maloneys have given the Northwest Highlands, but with somewhat less whimsy and a crustier edge. The character of the land and the people are beautifully revealed. We love this book for its integrity and delightful vicarious experiences of life in an all-but-forgotten corner of the world.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. W. Huey on March 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
I discovered this wonderful book in a little shop in the remote Northwest Highlands of Scotland; happened to be leafing through it when I found it featured several unforgettable folks I had come to know during past trips to the Coigach peninsula and the little villages of Achiltibuie and Polbain.

The adventure the Maloneys lived is the sort of thing many of us dream about but few have the wherewithal to actually do. The book is beautifully written and wonderfully illustrated. If you have ANY interest in Scotland, particularly the remote Northwest Highlands, you MUST have this book, which personifies all that is good and genuine about the area and its people in much the same way as the movie, "Local Hero" did, albeit with altogether different plots.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Frank E. Farnham on April 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
A great story about a middle-aged couple who were not afraid to leave their comfortable life and find a new life in an out-of-the way place.
Very entertaining. A real life adventure.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Blomgren on April 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
A beautiful, entertaining book for the family coffee table: delightful stories arranged so that you can easily pick the book up, open it to any spot and find a 'quick read' of interest right there. Barb's thoughtful journal entries and evocative illustrations lend a warm intimacy to the overall story line, while Jack's colorful accounting of his Highland adventures reveal his deep appreciation and respect for a rapidly disappearing traditional way of life that is reminiscent of Herriot's "All Creatures Great and Small" series. The Maloneys manage to make cold, damp, sheep dip, self-stabbings and near-electrocution sound so appealing that I'm tempted to escape to the Scottish Highlands myself!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Goldstein on April 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
What a wonderful adventure in living. How delightfully written and beautifully illustrated. It's really about the Maloney's romance with the Highland village of Coigach, whose climate and living conditions that would try the patience of a flagellant. The generally loveable inhabitants would do justice to a 60s Peter Sellers film. The tale of the lovesick ewe is worth the price of admission.
This book almost makes me want to go to Scotland and live the experience myself. However, I think I will resist the temptation, sit in my favorite chair and let the Maloneys do it for me; they do it so well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By musician-violinist on June 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
"The Wee Mad Road" is a journey down memory avenue into a time not long ago. The writing is excellent with Jack telling his version intersperced with excerpts from the journal kept by Barb. The book is timeless unless you find certain facts that make it possible to date it. (Look for them!)
Thank you Barb and Jack for preserving the fleeting history of real people working and living together in community. I am Irish(as is Mr. Maloney) and we also have in common some of the same experiences with slight twists and turns but with the identical feelings.What the authors have done is remarkable in that they were really part of the community and lived the life. This is why the book is so true to life.Only wish that I could give you more than 5 stars!
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